noun, often attributive \ˈprä-fət\

: money that is made in a business, through investing, etc., after all the costs and expenses are paid : a financial gain

: the advantage or benefit that is gained from doing something

Full Definition of PROFIT

:  a valuable return :  gain
:  the excess of returns over expenditure in a transaction or series of transactions; especially :  the excess of the selling price of goods over their cost
:  net income usually for a given period of time
:  the ratio of profit for a given year to the amount of capital invested or to the value of sales
:  the compensation accruing to entrepreneurs for the assumption of risk in business enterprise as distinguished from wages or rent
prof·it·less \-ləs\ adjective
prof·it·wise \-ˌwīz\ adverb

Examples of PROFIT

  1. The company made a profit this year.
  2. Profits are up from last year.
  3. There was a rise in profits this year.
  4. The profits from CD sales were donated to charity.
  5. The organization is not run for profit.
  6. The film made $1,000,000 in profit.
  7. The book can be read with profit by anyone who wants to understand how the system works.

Origin of PROFIT

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin profectus advance, profit, from proficere
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Economics Terms

actuary, compound interest, globalization, indemnity, portfolio, rentier, stagflation, usurer



: to get an advantage or benefit from something

: to be an advantage to (someone) : to help (someone)

: to earn or get money by or from something

Full Definition of PROFIT

intransitive verb
:  to be of service or advantage :  avail
:  to derive benefit :  gain
:  to make a profit
transitive verb
:  to be of service to :  benefit

Examples of PROFIT

  1. It would profit him to take some computer classes.
  2. The company has profited by selling its products online.
  3. He profited greatly from his investments.
  4. The island profits from tourism.

First Known Use of PROFIT

14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In business usage, the excess of total revenue over total cost during a specific period of time. In economics, profit is the excess over the returns to capital, land, and labour. Since these resources are measured by their opportunity costs, economic profit can be negative. There are various sources of profit: an innovator who introduces a new production technique can earn entrepreneurial profits; changes in consumer tastes may bring some firms windfall profits; or a firm may restrict output to prevent prices from falling to the level of costs (monopoly profit).


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